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California Library Hall of Fame: Binnie Tate Wilkin
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California Library Hall of Fame

 Binnie Tate Wilkin


One of the founders of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Black Caucus, Binnie Tate Wilkin has been a writer, lecturer, librarian, and professional storyteller. She was public services administrator for Orange County Public Library, the first minority services coordinator for Los Angeles County Public Library, and children’s specialist for Los Angeles Public Library. She has taught graduate-level courses on children’s literature, youth services, outreach services, public librarianship, and storytelling for several library schools, including UCLA, UC Berkeley, CSU Fullerton, Columbia University, and the University of Hawaii. Mentoring African Americans and other library school students of color has been a focus of her career. In the 1990s, Wilkin was invited to evaluate ALA’s Office of Library Outreach Services and offer guidance for its future growth. And in 2018, ALA invited her to participate in a conference plenary session on the future of libraries. She was also among the inaugural group of librarians interviewed as part of Infopeople’s “California Library Leader Memory Project.” Wilkin continues to use her creative talents as a speaker and storyteller. Her book, African American Librarians in the Far West, Pioneers and Trailblazers (Scarecrow, 2006), celebrates early African American librarians. Wilkin has received achievement awards from the California Librarians Black Caucus, the ALA Black Caucus, and the first national Joint Conference of Librarians of Color.

Binnie Tate Wilkin was inducted into the California Library Hall of Fame in 2019. For more information about her, please see:

  • “California Library Leader Memory Project—Binnie Tate Wilkin,”
  • Binnie Tate Wilkins (2014), “Introduction” in A Life in Storytelling: Anecdotes, Stories to Tell, Stories with Movement and Dance, Suggestions for Educators (Rowman & Littlefield)

Photo source: American Library Association